ANC chairman in the Free State Ace Magashule has accused former members of the ruling party, now with the opposition, of dishonesty and hypocrisy for wanting to disown party policies they helped formulate and staunchly defended when they were still members.
Magashule, who is also Free State premier, said the leaders of parties such as the Pan-Africanist Congress, Cope and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters were hypocrites who quietly enjoyed the comforts and benefits of being with the ANC and only found a voice against the ruling party after leaving.
In apparent reference to Malema, who once declared his blood was the green, yellow and black official colours of the ANC to emphasise his loyalty to the ruling party, Magashule said the former members were trying to backtrack on policies and programmes of the ruling party that they once championed and mobilised South Africans to support.
He said: “When they were still in the ANC they claimed their blood was green, yellow and black, and they even said they would kill for Zuma (Jacob, ANC and state president), but now that they are out of the organisation they start asking what the ANC government has done for the people, a question they dared not ask when they were still members.”
Magashule was speaking during the launch this week of the widows’ forum in the Free State.
The forum was launched on Monday in Bloemfontein as part of activities to mark the annual 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign.
The premier likened those drawn away from the ANC to follow Malema’s party to biblical-time Israelites who wanted to go back to Egypt where they were slaves when the going got tough in the wilderness.
“How soon do our people forget, hundreds of thousands of houses have been built since we came to power in 1994,” he said.
“Even if you personally did not get one, others did, and we are still going to build more.”
Magashule urged ANC members serving in the government not to shy from crediting the party for the good work that the state was doing.
“You have to say as an ANC-led government (that has done the good work), you cannot be neutral about it and there is no reason to be shy of it,” he said, to cheers from the crowds.
Magashule, who is seen as a top ally of Zuma, defended South Africa’s third democratically elected president’s leadership of the country, saying people who want to use his lack of formal schooling to question his handling of the ship of state were being disingenuous.